Step On It


No one is sure about the birth of Bialys (pronounced be-Al-ee), a little Polish roll with an onion and poppy seed filled pocket. In her book, The Bialy Eaters, Mimi Sheraton speculates that a pretzel like bread fell on the floor and was unwittingly stepped on. Not wanting to waste precious dough, the frugal baker filled it with onions and poppy seeds and baked it. Whatever the story may be, you’ll be running to try these savory, filled breads. Just try not to step on any. The recipe follows:

Makes 12 Bialys


4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons Kosher salt

1 tablespoon sorghum or sugar

2 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast

2 cups warm water


3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 large onions, sliced thin

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 tablespoon poppy seeds


In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and yeast. Stir in sorghum or sugar and water. Mix until no dry bits of flour remain. Dough will be quite loose and wet. Using a wet hand, fold dough by pulling dough up and stretching it over itself. Turn bowl a quarter-turn and repeat. Continue to turn and fold dough for 3 minutes. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in size, about an hour, maybe a little longer if your kitchen is cold.

Meanwhile, pour oil into a large skillet and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool and stir in poppy seeds.

Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly flour parchment. Transfer dough to a floured surface and gently press into a rectangle. Divide dough in half and then in half again. Portion each quarter into 3 pieces. Form dough into rough ball by folding edges of dough into the center. Arrange 6 balls, seam side down, on each baking sheet. Lightly flour tops of dough and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Proof for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 475 degrees. On lightly floured surface, gently press each dough ball into a 5-inch circle (flour your hands if dough is sticky). Return to baking sheets, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and proof until dough is puffy, 15 to 20 minutes.

Grease and flour a 1-cup measuring cup. Firmly press cup into center of each dough round until cup touches sheet to make pocket for filling. Cup should not tear through bottom of dough. Grease and flour cup as needed if dough is sticking.

Divide onion-poppy seed mixture evenly between rounds (start with a heaping tablespoon per Bialys and then fill in the rest). Bake until spotty golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating and turning baking sheets halfway through baking. Transfer Bialys to cooling rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Snack Time

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Crackers make great snacks, but they also make great diagnostic tools for people with Sjogren’s Syndrome. People who have Sjogren’s Syndrome suffer from white blood cells attacking their exocrine glands, specifically their salivary glands. One test that doctors use to diagnose this drying disease is having patients try to eat a couple of crackers. If the patients’ saliva dries up very quickly, then they might have Sjogren’s Syndrome. I am a baker and not a doctor, so please don’t take this as sound medical advice; it’s more for interesting reading. If you want something more interesting to do with your crackers, eat a couple without drinking anything and then try to whistle a tune. You’re welcome. The recipe follows:

Makes About 100 1 x 2 inch Crackers

Total Flour                                500 g                                     100%

All-Purpose Flour                     450 g                                      90%

Whole-Wheat Flour                   50 g                                       10%

Water                                       200 g                                       40%

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil                 50 g                                       10%

Unsalted Butter, soft                  25 g                                         5%

Kosher Salt                                10 g                                         2%

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl with a spatula until mixture starts to come together in a shaggy ball. Finish mixing dough by hand until dough comes together and no dry bits remain. Knead dough by hand for 2 to 3 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 450 degrees and place rack in middle position. Mount a pasta machine on your work surface. Cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Flour dough and run through pasta machine on widest setting. Continue rolling dough through until it is 1/8-inch thick (the width of a quarter). On my machine it’s a 5. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut dough into 1 x 2 inch pieces. I like to use a ravioli cutter because it’s fast and leaves a wavy pattern on the crackers, but you can use a knife. Transfer crackers to baking sheet, spacing 1/4-inch between crackers. Dock each cracker with the tines of a fork a couple of times to reduce air bubbles. Bake each tray, one at a time, for 9 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Crackers are ready when lightly brown around the edges. Remove tray from oven and transfer crackers to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining crackers.

If you do not have a pasta machine, roll out dough with a rolling pin, letting dough rest if it won’t roll out to the necessary thinness.

One of the best things about crackers is playing around with all the fun things you can put into them. Here are two of my favorite variations:

Smoked Sea Salt and Rosemary

Substitute smoked sea salt for the Kosher salt and add 2 teaspoons minced, fresh rosemary.

Edible Flower

When rolling out the dough, spread edible flowers over half the dough. Fold the other half of the dough over the flowers and press down to seal. Run dough through pasta machine until you reach the necessary thinness.

Aloha Rolls

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These pineapple and vanilla scented rolls have a sweet history in Hawaii. Portuguese immigrants came to the Hawaiian Islands in the 1850s, bringing with them their sweetened breads. Refined sugar was scarce and expensive, so immigrants turned to local ingredients like pineapple juice and honey to sweeten their loaves. Aloha means hello and goodbye in Hawaii, and that might be exactly what happens to these rolls. They’ll be gone as soon as you say hello to them. The recipe follows:

Makes 18 Rolls

1 Cup pineapple juice

1/2 Cup milk

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing on rolls

1/3 Cup honey

5 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 Teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast (1 package)

2 1/2 Teaspoons Kosher salt

1 Large egg, lightly stirred

2 Teaspoons distilled white vinegar

2 Teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine pineapple juice, milk, melted butter, and honey in a 4-cup measuring cup.

2. In a large bowl, mix flour, yeast, and salt. Stir until combined. Add pineapple juice mixture, egg, vinegar, and vanilla to flour mixture. Stir until dough starts to come together. Finish kneading by hand until dough forms a slightly sticky ball, 3-5 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours, or until dough has doubled in size, folding every 20 minutes. Do do a fold, gently pull up one side of the dough and fold it over itself. Turn dough 90 degrees and repeat. Repeat 2 more times, turning dough. This counts as 1 fold.

3. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface. Gently shape dough into a rectangular shape, and divide into 3 equal parts. Divide each third into 6 equal pieces. On an unfloured surface with floured hands, shape each roll into a ball by placing a piece of dough between your thumb and index finger and rolling dough in a circular motion with your palm, forming a taught ball. If the dough is sticking to surface too much, lightly flour it and try again. Don’t worry if rolls don’t come out perfect, they’ll still taste good.

4. Arrange rolls on baking sheet in 3 rows of 6. Lightly flour rolls and cover with a kitchen towel. Proof for about 1 hour, or until rolls have doubled in size. Thirty minutes before rolls are done proofing, heat oven to 400 degrees and place oven rack in middle position. When rolls have finished proofing, bake for 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Remove rolls from oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack. After 5 minutes, brush rolls with softened butter and let cool for another 30 minutes.

These rolls are great for hamburgers, sausages, and if you’re feeling really native, grilled SPAM.

Cinnamon Girl


I don’t know about Neil Young, but I could be happy the rest of my life with this cinnamon girl. A sweet, cinnamon sugar swirl inside a tender, buttery dough make this bread both eye-catching and delicious. Maybe the best breakfast bread ever. The recipe follows:

Makes 1  9 x 5 loaf


1/2 Cup milk, warm

1/2 Cup water, warm

2 Large eggs

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3  1/2 Cups all-purpose flour

1/3 Cup sugar

2 Teaspoons rapid-rise or instant yeast

1  1/2 Teaspoons salt

Filling and Glaze

1/4 Cup sugar

5 Teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 Tablespoons milk

1 Large egg, beaten with a splash of milk

For the Dough:

Whisk milk, water, eggs, and melted butter together in a small bowl. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add wet mixture to flour mixture and stir until dough is loose and shaggy. Continue to mix by hand until no dry bits of flour remain. Knead dough in bowl for 2 to 3 minutes. Leave dough in bowl and cover. Allow dough to rise until doubled in size, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, folding the dough every 30 minutes. If you are not familiar with this technique, it’s easy. To do a fold, grab one side of the dough, with a wet hand, and gently pull dough up and over itself. Turn dough 90 degrees and repeat. Do this two more times, turning the dough 90 degrees each time. That’s a fold.

Filling and Glaze:

Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently press into an 18 x 8 rectangle, with short side facing you. Brush dough liberally with the 2 tablespoons of milk, then sprinkle evenly with cinnamon-sugar mix, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Roll dough into a firm cylinder, keeping dough taught by tucking it under itself as you roll. Turn dough seam side up and pinch close. Place dough in loaf pan, seam side down and cover with a towel. Let dough proof for about 90 minutes, or until dough is 1-inch above top of loaf pan.

30 minutes before dough is done proofing, heat oven to 375 degrees, and place oven rack in middle position. Brush the egg and milk mixture onto top of loaf and place in oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, turning bread halfway through baking. Crust will be dark brown and lightly blistered. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let sit 5 minutes. Remove loaf from pan (you may need to run a paring knife around the edges if any filling oozed out and stuck) and let cool on rack until it reaches room temperature, about 2 hours.

Up In Smoke



The simple switch of smoked sea salt for common Kosher salt lifts this bread’s consciousness to a higher plane. Other side effects may include:  paranoid feelings that someone else is going to eat all of your bread, the inability to stop smiling, and thinking that growing dreadlocks is a good idea. No matter what happens, your taste buds are sure to feel dazed and confused. The Baker’s Percentage for this bread is as follows:

Total Flour                                    1,000 g                                          100%

White Flour                                     900 g                                            90%

Whole-Wheat Flour                       100 g                                             10%

Levain                                               200 g                                            20%

Water                                                700 g                                            70%

Smoked Sea Salt                               20 g                                              2%

Just swap smoked sea salt for Kosher salt in the master recipe for basic country sourdough (it’s in the Levain tab). This bread is groovy on its own but even better with grilled foods. Either way, it’s the perfect cure for the munchies.



Luck O’ the Irish


Like most Old World meals, Irish Soda Bread grew out of poverty and what was available. Traditionally made with flour, soda, buttermilk, and salt, this loaf is still a humble indulgence. This version incorporates a small amount of cake flour to soften the crumb and is baked in a cast-iron skillet for a craggy, crunchy crust. You’ll feel the luck of the Irish when you take this golden-brown bread out of the oven. The recipe follows:

Makes 1

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cake flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon melted

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add softened butter and use fingers to rub it into flour until completely incorporated. Make well in center of flour mixture and add 1 1/2 cups buttermilk. Using a fork, work buttermilk into flour mixture until dough comes together in large clumps and no dry flour remains in bottom of bowl. Add up to 1/4 cup extra buttermilk if mixture is still dry. Use your hands to gently shape dough into a 6-inch round.

2. Transfer dough to a 12-inch cast-iron skillet (if you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, transfer dough to a baking sheet). Score a deep X on surface of loaf, and place in oven. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Remove from oven, brush with melted butter, and let cool at least 30 minutes.

Perfect with Irish Stew and a cold pint.

Go Focaccia Yourself


Focaccia bread is a rustic Italian flatbread made with simple ingredients. Here it is topped with salt and rosemary, but other tasty toppings include olives, pancetta, anchovies, softened onions, or grapes. Traditionally, focaccia is baked straight on the hearth, but a good way to get a crisp crust at home is to bake it in cake pans. This version also takes advantage of using a “sponge” (a pre-fermented portion of the overall dough) to get even more flavor out of the finished bread. The recipe follows:

Makes 2   9-inch focaccia


1/2 cup all-purpose flour                                                                                                                       1/3 cup warm water                                                                                                                               1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast

Combine flour, water, and yeast in a small bowl and stir to combine and no dry bits of flour remain. Cover bowl tightly and leave out at room temperature overnight.


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for shaping                                                                       1 1/4 cups warm water                                                                                                                          1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast                                                                                               Kosher salt                                                                                                                                               4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil                                                                                                    2 teaspoons minced, fresh rosemary

Stir water, sponge, flour, and yeast in a large bowl until combined and no dry bits of flour remain. You may need to use your hands to finish mixing. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of salt over dough and mix in using wet hands. Dough will be very wet and sticky. Cover bowl with kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes. To achieve the open and airy crumb that characterizes focaccia bread, it is best to use a gentle kneading method. After the first 30 minutes, get your hand wet and pull one side of the dough up and over itself. This is called a fold. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and fold again. Do a total of 8 folds. Cover the bowl and let rest another 30 minutes. Fold dough another 8 times. Cover the bowl and let rest another 30 minutes. Fold dough another 8 times. Cover bowl and let rest for the last 30 minutes. To review, the dough will rise for a total of 2 hours, with 3 sessions of folding, every half hour.

One hour before baking, place a baking stone or overturned rimmed baking sheet on upper-middle rack of oven, and heat oven to 450 degrees.

Gently transfer dough to a floured work surface. Lightly flour top of dough and divide in half. Shape each piece of dough into a round by pulling edges of dough into the middle. Coat 2 9-inch cake pans with 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil each. Sprinkle each pan with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Place round of dough in 1 pan, top side down, slide dough around pan to coat bottom and sides with oil, then flip over. Repeat with second piece of dough. Cover pans with kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes.

Using fingertips, gently press dough out toward edges of pan, taking care not to tear it. If dough resists, let sit another 5 minutes. Using a fork, poke entire surface or dough 20-25 times, popping any large bubbles. Sprinkle rosemary evenly over dough. Let rest until slightly bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.

Place pans on baking stone or baking sheet and bake for 25-28 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until tops are golden brown. Transfer pans to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Take loaves out of pans and return to rack. Brush tops of bread with any remaining oil in pans. Let cool for 30 minutes. Tear bread apart and enjoy.

It’s Here

It’s here! Birdsong Bread: Methods and Recipes for Honest Bread is available on Amazon. Get all the bread recipes you love in one tasty collection. Below is a link to get you there:

Don’t have an ereader? That’s ok. You can still enjoy Birdsong Bread: Methods and Recipes for Honest Bread on your PC. Just follow the link to download the free Kindle app:

Thank you for visiting my blog and for your support! Hope you enjoy the book.


Birdsong Bread the book

Good news, Birdsong Bread readers. Birdsong Bread will soon be offered as an ebook, with a new title: Birdsong Bread: Methods and Recipes for Honest Bread. The blog will still be open to anyone interested in making brilliant bread at home. So why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? The rise in tablets and ereaders have proven the demand for longer reading experiences. Birdsong Bread the book offers readers a deeper experience than what you would get through the blog alone. Also, the book gives me a chance to demonstrate my knowledge and interests in a more meaningful way.

Things to look forward to in the Birdsong Bread Book:

  • An in-depth look into the ingredients in bread
  • The science of good bread making
  • Clear and concise instructions, methods, and techniques
  • Updated recipes

I’m shooting for the first week of September for the book to be on sale. Birdsong Bread: Methods and Recipes for Honest Bread will be available for sale through these online stores:

  • Amazon
  • iBooks
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Kobo
  • Copia
  • Gardners
  • Baker & Taylor
  • eSentral
  • Scribd
  • Flipkart
  • Oyster
  • Ciando

Thank you to everyone for supporting Birdsong Bread. I hope you will check out the new ebook, Birdsong Bread: Methods and Recipes for Honest Bread. Look for it at the stores listed above the first week of September. Opus Est Diligo.

A Bounty of Bruschetta


Bread alone is enough for me, usually. But there are times when a seasonal spread or simple topping can turn a humble piece of toast into something so satisfying. Bruschetta can be at its best in all seasons, and these recipes showcase the bounty each one brings.

But before you can put anything on the bread, you must first toast it. Turn broiler on high and set rack 4 inches below flame. Cut any country style bread into ¾-inch slices and place on baking sheet. Slide baking sheet under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, until bread is browned. Flip bread and repeat on other side. Lightly rub each slice with a garlic clove that has been peeled and cut in-half crosswise. Brush with olive oil. If you can’t be bothered or if it’s too hot to turn on the oven, just stick the sliced bread in the toaster and finish with the garlic and olive oil.


Artichoke Hearts, Parmesan, and Pancetta

Serves 4

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed and patted dry

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or basil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ teaspoon salt


½ cup Pancetta, cut into small cubes

1 cup Parmesan cheese, ½ cup grated fine, ½ cup shaved into strips with vegetable peeler

Pour 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet, and set over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add pancetta and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Pulse artichoke hearts, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, mint, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and a big pinch of pepper in food processor until coarsely pureed, about 3 pulses. Scrape down bowl and pulse 3 more times. Add grated parmesan and pulse to combine, another 3 pulses.

Spread artichoke mixture evenly among toasts. Sprinkle on 1 tablespoon pancetta per toast, and top with shaved parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil to taste, and serve.


Mushrooms, Ricotta, and Herbs

Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 cups Portobello mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed, and sliced

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

½ tablespoon minced fresh thyme

½ tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

1 ½ cups good-quality crumbly ricotta cheese

Salt and pepper

Heat butter and oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides. Add mushrooms, thyme, and rosemary and cook until juices are released, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Stir mixture until herbs are evenly spread. Remove skillet from heat.

Spoon mushroom mixture evenly over toasts. Sprinkle each with 2 generous tablespoons of ricotta cheese, and serve.



Summer Squash, Candied Bacon, and Blue Cheese

Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 slices bacon, cut into ½ -inch slices

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 medium summer squash or zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into matchsticks

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 cup blue cheese, crumbled

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 400, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a small bowl, mix the bacon and brown sugar until evenly coated. Transfer to baking sheet and cook until bacon is glazed and crisp, check after 10 minutes—the sugar burns easily. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Combine squash, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper in medium bowl. Let stand 5 minutes, then fold in bacon, cheese, and basil.

Spoon mixture evenly over toasts, and serve.


Whipped Feta, Roasted Red Peppers, and Spicy Coppa

Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving

4 red bell peppers, roasted, skin removed, seeded, and cut into ½ -inch dice (or 4 roasted red peppers from a jar, patted dry)

12 thin slices spicy coppa, cut into ¼ -inch strips

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

2 cups feta cheese, crumbled

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Combine roasted red peppers, coppa, vinegar, sugar, garlic, pepper flakes, and salt to taste in medium bowl, set aside.

Process feta, oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of pepper in food processor until smooth, about 10 seconds—scraping down bowl once during processing.

Spread feta mixture evenly over toasts. Using fingers or fork, top pepper mixture over feta, drizzle with olive oil to taste, and serve.


Apples and Golden Raisins

Serves 4

4 Gala, or any desert apples, skin left on, cored, and cut into ½ -inch slices

½ of a lemon

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons sugar

½ cup golden raisins

Knifepoint of ground cinnamon

* Note:  After toasting bread, brush with melted butter. Omit olive oil and garlic.

Squeeze lemon juice into a medium bowl with apples. Toss to coat. In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, melt butter, stir in sugar, and let mixture come to a bubble, about 2 minutes. Transfer apples to skillet and cook until apples are soft the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in raisins and cinnamon. Cook mixture until apples are evenly glazed in caramel and soft. Remove from heat.

Spoon apple mixture evenly over toasts, and serve. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top would put these over the top.


Goat Cheese, Figs, and Prosciutto

Serves 4

Extra-virgin olive oil for serving

1 cup dried figs, stems removed and chopped coarse

¾ cups water

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

8 ounces goat cheese, room temperature

4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, or any aged ham, cut into ½ -inch strips

Bring figs, water, and vinegar to boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is almost dry and figs have softened, about 20 minutes. Process fig mixture in food processor until uniform paste forms, scraping down bowl once during processing.

Spread goat cheese evenly over toasts. Top with fig mixture and spread over cheese. Top each slice with pieces of prosciutto, drizzle with olive oil to taste, and serve.


Arugula, Red Onions, Sweet Coppa, and Rosemary-White Bean Spread

Serves 4

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 garlic clove, crushed

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1.4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

¼ red onion, sliced thin

2 cups arugula, cut into ½ -inch strips

In food processor, process two-thirds of beans, 2 tablespoons oil, water, lemon juice, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Add remaining beans and rosemary; pulse until incorporated but not smooth, about 5 pulses.

Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon oil, vinegar, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl; add onion and toss.

Divide bean mixture evenly among toasts. Toss arugula and coppa with onion until coated, then top toasts with portion of onion, arugula, and coppa and serve.


Caramelized Onions, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts

Serves 4

Extra-virgin olive oil for serving

1 ½ teaspoons butter

1 ½ teaspoons vegetable or canola oil

1 pound onions, sliced ¼ -inch think, root to tip

½ teaspoon brown sugar

¼ tsp salt

2 cups mild blue cheese, crumbled

3 tablespoons milk

Pinch of cayenne pepper


¼ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped fine

Heat butter and vegetable oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat; add onions, sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften and begin to release some moisture, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring frequently, until onions are deeply browned and sticky, about 35 minutes.

Using a fork, mash blue cheese and milk together in medium bowl until smooth, spreadable consistency is formed. Stir in cayenne, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and walnuts. Divide blue cheese mixture evenly among toasts. Top with onions and spread into even layer over cheese. Sprinkle with black pepper, drizzle with olive oil to taste, and serve.